Kapalua, Kaanapali, or Wailea?

Old Jul 19th, 2002, 08:55 AM
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Kapalua, Kaanapali, or Wailea?

Me and my boyfriend are planning our first trip to Maui in November. We have heard good things about all 3 areas and don't know where we should stay. We are both in our early twenties and like to just relax on a beautiful beach, enjoy watersports, and fine dining. We don't want to be on a beach that is very crowded but don't want to be secluded either. Something in between would be perfect. Which area do you recommend? By the way - is the weather that much better in Wailea than the West side? Thanks in advance for your input.
Old Jul 19th, 2002, 09:01 AM
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You'll get 50 different opinions on this topic so here's mine....Wailea is my first choice. Kapalua is pretty, but there is more of a concentration of nice resorts in Wailea. I like to wander between the properties in the evening and have a drink at a different outdoor bar.

Kaanapali is probably the most downmarket (how downmarket can Hawaii be) and Kapalua is pretty, but just wouldn't want to deal with the weather issue (there's a reason the Ritz's spot was available for development last). That being said, if you enjoy going out, you may want to be closer to Lahaina (ie Kaanapali). Have fun.
Old Jul 19th, 2002, 09:10 AM
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Hi Katie,
You and your boyfriend sound just like my husband and I although you are in your twenties and we are 30 something. You will love Wailea. It is warmer and sunnier. Is is very upscale and has wonderful fine dining and graet shopping at the shops at Wailea and all the shops in all the upscale hotels. Classic Hawaii is having a special on the Kea Lani. Checkout their website.

Kaanapali is a complete zoo. Kids rule there. We always used to stay there but it has gotten too crazy for us. We have no children and were very much a minority. It might be fun for you to take a shuttle up there should you decide to stay in Wailea. You should at least visit it.

Kapalua is also very nice but the weather can be very iffy, especially in November. We were in Maui last November and the weather was atrociuos. We had huge Kona storms with about six inches of rain. We were staying at the Westin Maui and several of the roofs collapsed from the rain. We actually couldn't wait to fly home. Kapalua is very quaint and has a great Hawaiian feel to it. I don't think there is too many water sport activities except for mabey snorkeling.

Wherever you decide to stay please do yourself and your boyfriend a favor and do the helicopter ride. We cherish our memories of this adventure and watch our video of it often. Blue Hawaiian is the company we used and they were outstanding.
Old Jul 19th, 2002, 09:14 AM
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Ok, I was on Maui 5 years in a row and stayed in Kaanapali.

Not at a large hotel but at a time share small hotel on Lower Hanoapiilani Highway. It was grea, all the amenities of home and right on the beach with view of Molokai and Lanai and of course the whales.

My suggestion - stay in Kaanapali. It's in the middle of the island and you have a larger selection of things to do. Kapalua is beautiful but still, you have to go to Front Street in Lahaina for any type of night life.

Wailea is more south and the weather is a bit more guaranteed. Kapalua is more north and can get some rain - (north more country and lush so more rain) south, dry and can also have some high clouds but if there is rain, not for very long unless there is an unusual storm and then it can rain for days. But typically, the more south you go, the better the weather is.

THere are many new hotels there but if you want to go outside of the hotel - again, Lahaina has the most things to do, restaurants, bars, shops (remember it's an early island so many places close at 10ish - some clubs now have later hours).

As far as beaches - any area where there are hotels, you will have crowds on the beaches.

Renting a car is a must - you can pick it up at Kahalui Airport when you arrive. There are so many places to see and things to do, you need one. SO, you can really drive around the island and there are little beaches all over. You can even just park on the side of the road and have a beach area all to yourselves.

All the hotels have water activities, my suggestion is try to find a local vendor for your equipment and for the activities in general - it will be a lot cheaper.

Like, on Kaanapali Beach - right by Whalers village, there is a little hut called Dig Me Beach - you can rent all kinds of things there and they are not like Hotel prices.

You must go to Hana and swim in the 7 sacred pools (natural water falls), the road to Hana is beautiful. That's more North so it's a lot more lush and green and has more rain. You must do either sunrise or sunset at Haliakala (the dormant volcano) but it's freezing up there so bring a jacket but it's a must.
Of course Makena Beach in Kehei (a bit past Wailea) is also a beautiful beach. Used to be preserved and nobody really knew about it but now it's more built up so attracts crowds but again, beautiful.

Another must, take a day snorkeling trip to Molokini. It's shaped like a half moon - only sea life but the most amazing snorkeling around. They have great local drinks and food on the boat as well. THis is a trip you must do.

I can go on and on cause I love Maui so very much.

If you need further assistance or have any questions, e-mail me and i will be happy to help.

Old Jul 19th, 2002, 10:33 AM
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Amy's summary is exactly what I would have said if I were first to answer.
Old Jul 19th, 2002, 05:56 PM
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Aloha! A great thing to do is the "tour of the stars" at the Kaanapali Hyatt. You go up on the roof and they have hugh computerized telescopes to see all the stars and constellations. We saw three shooting stars while up there one time. They have a special couples only viewing with chocolate covered strawberries and champagne and they limit it to eight people. Also make sure to go to the Black Swan restaurant at the Hyatt. They have great food and an unbelievable setting right on the pond with the swans at tableside. Go early for a seat by the water. There is a beautiful hula girl that also performs to traditional Hawaiian music. We stayed both places numerous times (Kaanapali and Wailea) and you can't go wrong either way. We also never found Kaanapali a zoo or too many children around . We've been there 5 times. Kapalua is a little far and secluded. Have a wonderful time and don't forget the whale watching!!!
Old Jul 24th, 2002, 06:29 AM
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I think Wailea is the best area to stay. The resorts are really nice and upscale and the weather is great. True, you are farther from the "action" of Lahaina and Kaanapali, but there is plenty to do in Wailea, from snorkeling to fine dining.
Old Jul 24th, 2002, 06:56 AM
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If you are going in November stay in Wailea. The weather is much better there and the beaches are just beautiful. You will not be sorry.
Old Jul 24th, 2002, 08:08 AM
just maiued
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Kapalua = NO!. Tooo windy, nothing to do. But it's a great day trip, especially if you golf. I would really consider splitting your time between Kaanapali (maybe Westin) and Wailea (we did 4S). They are SOOOO different that it's fun to do both. We're partiers, so we did Kaan. first until we were mai tai'd out, then moved to Wailea to unwind. The beach in Wailea is better than Kaanapali in every way. Make sure to snorkel behind the Four Seasons, it's incredible.
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